Charents: From the Leningrad Fragments

The spent northern sun sways

Like a fireless crucible of ashes

Over these square structures,

This endless stretch of the past…

Below, the dreary Neva yawns

Drifting on with sulky debility –

And the weary city of yore,

Frozen in the mist like a mirage –

Delirium of a genius drifted

Ages ago into lethargic slumber,

Who had lived with the glacial,

tired blood of the past century…

And in the age-old delusions

Of the drowsy, indolent patient,

Countless lanterns are winking

Like purulent eyes in darkness…

And misguided men, roaring cars

And blood streams of clanking

Streetcars – seem to roll out

A canvas by Hieronymus Bosch…


——————Yeghishe Charents

Leningrad-Yerevan, 1921-1937

Translated by Tatul Sonentz

1 Comment on Charents: From the Leningrad Fragments

  1. avatar aris janigian // February 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm // Reply

    thanks for this fine translation.

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